Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 3

Diaperbag fold
Diaperbag fold

As we all dive deeper and deeper into the Flats and Handwashing Challenge I’m sure there are lots of thoughts running around inside our heads.  I’m going to express mine in the Vlog but here are my main points for those who dislike watching videos. You can catch Day 1 and Day 2 if you missed them.

The impetus for this challenge was to show that it is possible to handwash diapers and spend less than 100$ (even more than that but it depends on what you buy) to cloth diaper.

I will admit that because I know when this week is over I can use my washer/dryer again it is already flawed.  The imposition is merely temporary.  That being said, I wanted to explore the logistics.  Do the diapers get clean?  Will they dry in a reasonable amount of time?  Is the Camp Style Washer, sink method, bath tub method even possible?  Are flats really a diaper that people can rely on?

Yes to most of those questions.  In my life so far, yes to them all.  However there are some people who are struggling with drying time.  Humidity and temperatures are causing some diapers to still be wet after 10, 20, even 35 hours in some cases.  Now, we all have to figure out how to speed up that process.

There are far more practical reasons that this Challenge is a good idea.

Emergency Preparedness:

In case of of major natural disaster, what diapering method will you be using?  If you already cloth diaper, chances are you don’t want to buy disposables.  And even if you do, there is a good chance your local store may run out or be running low.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a stash of flats and covers ready?  You can wash them by hand and air dry them, just as we are doing now for the Challenge.  If fresh water is hard to come by this is another issue, but if it is just electricity you are lacking this is a very viable option.

Experience for Travel or Camping:

If you love cloth diapers like I do, and believe they are better for your baby than a disposable, you are hesitant to switch to sposies when traveling.  I do understand that sometimes cloth can’t be done, that is one reason disposables can be handy.  But when sposies aren’t an answer then flats might be your best bet!  They can pack flat, and you can wash them in a hotel bathtub or sink and hang them to dry over the shower every night.  If you are camping, why not bring along that handy Camp Style Washer for your trip.  It will work for your clothes and your diapers!


If I truly want to understand the limitations of cloth diapering and what is and isn’t possible, shouldn’t I try the “hard” way?  I need to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, to prove or disprove that handwashing cloth diapers is possible or that Flats are a great way to diaper on a budget.  A week is nothing.  I know that I get to go back to my washing machine so the experiment is already flawed.  Still, the experience will be valuable.  If I can’t do it for a week then I shouldn’t expect anyone, SAHM or WAHM, mom of 1 or mom of 10, to do it.  Flats have already taught me a lot about how a baby can be diapered to next to nothing.  If nothing else, I know that there is a way to diaper for far less than 100$, free even.


For whatever reason, this Challenge has caught on!  With over 400 families signed up and way more than that watching and cheering us on (or calling us bananas) it is getting a lot of attention.  I promise you, this wasn’t some stunt for blog traffic.  I expected I would have 5-10 bloggers sign up.  The response has been way more than I could have dreamed.  More families have learned that flats are easy and cheap.  They will tell their friends, and their friends will tell their friends.  People will definitely benefit from the Challenge, directly or indirectly.  If one mother learns about another mother struggling to provide diapers for her baby and teaches her about flats, or maybe even buys some for her, isn’t that a WIN?

Appreciating what you have:

I happen to have a pretty great life.  We are a two car family, we have a washer and dryer that I can get to anytime I want.  We have cable, internet, and all the food we want.  My husband provides for our family which lets me stay at home with my babies (and work from home).  Seeing what could be- having to handwash diapers, or only having a few diapers- makes me appreciate what I have.

Photos from yesterday, May 24:

Orange Diaper Co. Terry Flat
Diaperbag fold

Now is the time to link up your posts. I have noticed many people not following the “rules” so please remember: Link to the Rules post (don’t just say the blog name), include the code for the Linky so that others can join in, and grab the button (if you can get the darn thing to work.)  Only link to your Blog POST, not your main blog URL.  Also, this Linky is for posts made on May 25, even if it is about the previous days.  I appreciate all of the blogs posting about the Challenge, big or small, but please include the Linky and follow rules so that everyone reading understands the purpose.
get the InLinkz code

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  • Thank you so much for pointing out people could do this part time.  I like to mention to people that cloth diapering doesn’t have to be an all or nothing thing.  Sometimes I think people in the cloth diapering community are too harsh with their words when discussing disposables and that can be very off putting to people.  Thank you so much for putting together this challenge.  I too was saddened when I read the article about families drying their disposables and reusing them as well as leaving their little ones in diapers for 12 hours at a time because they couldn’t afford diapers.

    • Kristalglass

      I was horrified when I saw a pampers box that had 12 hours on it! It wasn’t the over night diapers either just the baby dry version. 

    • Kristalglass

      I was horrified when I saw a pampers box that had 12 hours on it! It wasn’t the over night diapers either just the baby dry version. 

  • Tara

    Kim, I edited my first 2 posts to include the rules/link to the rules, but blogger won’t let me put the linkyz in the body of my post for some reason.  I’ve been daily updating it to reflect, but I can’t seem to get around the error.  Any tips?

    • Anonymous

      Not sure, but will it let you add a link to the linky? I’m out of the house, not able to get on the computer

      • Tara

        I mean it won’t let me add the linky directly to my blog post…it is “under” the blogpost in a separate box on my editor.  So I have to update it every day and if someone read yesterday’s post they wouldn’t see yesterday’s fellow-momma’s posts, they’d see todays.

  • Todzwife

    I have to echo EVERYTHING you just said. I feel the exact same way. This is not “easy” but it’s doable. Not ideal either but it’s not HARD. I do miss my washer, but I don’t miss it being tied up for 2 hours every 2-3 days while it does a super heavy, hot, long double rinse wash to get the AIO’s clean.
    I did it because I wanted experience with my little wonder washer in case of an emergency. I also wanted to see how much of a pain it would be (it’s not, although it’s not exactly “convenient”.)

  • P.S. I just read the text of this blog and felt compelled to say even if this was a publicity stunt to get people to your blog (which I don’t believe it is), who would be upset?  I think this is an awesome idea you thought of and put into action.  I’m hoping local media agencies pick up on this and report it.  Given all the wonky weather our country has experienced lately, it seems like this challenge is even more timely.  I love your blog AND your videos.  Thanks for all you do to help others learn about cloth diapering.

  • great perspective. i am learning a lot myself. i am humbled and so apericitive of the things I have been blessed with. (i couldn’t get the link code to work either.)

  • Kristalglass

    We have our annual nascar camping trip coming up with no electricity. We go for 4 days and I bring my daughter, Last year we only went for 2 days and it was a pain to travel in the horrible traffic I would rather to diaper laundry by hand while I hang out with my family 🙂 I’m very excited to go the entire trip this year and not worry, we can always order water and we bring tons of it from home. I found washing my diapers more relaxing although it was our first wash. I also had a fitted I hand to hand wash from over the weekend and that took some scrubbing but its clean! Not dry yet but clean. After this event I plan to donate most of my covers and prefolds as I have learned I do not need nearly as much as I have and other families could use them.

  • I think I’m one that messed up when I posted in your other linkys – I didn’t realize I needed to include the linky… and yes, the button is tricky. I had to modify it:
    I think it has something to do with the type of quotation marks used. ??
    Today’s post has the button, linky, and link to rules! 🙂

  • I am so happy to be a part of this Challenge. In a way though I don’t really see it as much of a challenge. I am loving this! I am so happy to be cloth diapering full time and the handwashing really isn’t bad. I found out yesterday that I can wash every two days if I want! Well, have two days worth of diapers that is. 🙂 Oh and thank you so much for linking to that diaperbag fold. That is pretty awesome! I have been using it every now and then with my little girl.

  • Annelisse888

    no puedo agregar el link a mi blog 🙁